That's according to up and coming Weibo tipster i Ice universe, who claimed that while the phone will have fewer megapixels the sensor will be a larger 1/2.0" one, which should allow it to capture more light. The camera will also apparently incorporate dual-PD (dual-photodiode) technology to further improve performance.
Apparently the sensor is already nearing mass production, which would make sense if the Samsung Galaxy S7 is due to arrive in early 2016, as many rumours state.
The Galaxy S range has always been about big specs, so we're not sure how likely Samsung would be to lower one of the numbers, especially when Sony, HTC and Apple have all recently upped the megapixel counts on this year's flagship smartphones.
But image quality is king and if Samsung can really get better photos out of a 12MP sensor it could be the right choice.